Busy but beautiful times!
… wait wait wait, it’s 2019 and August already? Are you sure?
But… the summer of 2018 just ended?
That pretty much sums up the feeling I had going into this summer, and I think all the staff over here in Oslo are with me.
A bummer for me this year was that I’ve had to cancel my trip to Rwanda & Burundi the day before actually flying out, due to problems that popped up at the last-minute and recent changes in Burundi that made it very hard to get a visa. But that’s life. That’s the uncertain reality of working in these countries, which is also what makes it fun to work there (something about a sword and double edges). Luckily the long-lasting relationships we’ve made over the years in Rwanda are strong, and our partners have kept me up to date throughout the season.
The great news is that through a lot of early cupping we’ve managed to get the first container locked in. We expect a shipment to leave soon and arrive in late August/early September.
We have renewed our focus on the two beautiful projects that we’ve gotten to know over the many years, Gitesi and Mahembe. We came into Rwanda very hopeful and enthusiastic because of the beauty of the country, its people and its incredible potential.
Over the years our enthusiasm has remained strong but we’ve struggled to find the right markets for these beautiful coffees, and often we have to sell them at a discount.
This is great value for roasters of course, but very painful for us, and it impacts our ability to commit to producers in the long term.
Gitesi – exciting new coffees
Our renewed interest in Gitesi and Mahembe comes at a perfect time for the Gitesi Washing Station. I discovered that our long-term partners, Aime & his father Alexis, were having trouble getting enough financing for the year. That means their production for 2019 is down quite a lot as they had to stop buying cherries earlier in the season and thus stop production earlier than he had hoped. We managed to commit to a lot more bags this year in large part due to Aime’s everlasting dedication to improve and diversify his station.
One of their projects is of course their own farm next to the station. We’ve purchased their entire production this year. You can find this specific single farmer lot under the name “Gitesi by Gahizi.” Gahizi is their family name.
We are also expecting the very first natural lots from the Gitesi washing station, and we are very excited about these. More on Gitesi and Aime’s challenge to produce high quality naturals in a later blog post.
Mahembe almost sold out
The first container from Rwanda is focused on Mahembe. It has been milled in Kigali and is now making its way to the nearest port in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to be shipped ASAP.
We have samples available! Please let us know your interest and volume needs. Keep an eye on our Rwanda origin page to see the offers coming in as they are confirmed. (Scroll to the bottom for the offers list.) Let your sales rep know if you’re looking for more info.
Have a great week and don’t forget to smile.